Help, I Suddenly Can’t Hear from One of My Ears!

Most hearing loss is very gradual and comes on over a many, many years. Often the gradual hearing loss may be a result of working in a noisy environment, such as a factory or in construction. Normal aging can also cause hearing loss. Sometimes hearing loss runs in families.  

If you have a sudden hearing loss where you instantly lose hearing, usually in just one ear, this is considered a medical emergency. Sometimes people will feel fullness in the ear, or a muffled sensation. Sometimes tinnitus (noise in the ear) accompanies the change in hearing. Some may also experience dizziness. It is very important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, especially if you are also experiencing dizziness, memory impairment, and/or headache. It is best to rule out any other medical incident that might be causing the sudden hearing loss. Depending on what the medical evaluation finds, there are treatments such as steroids and antivirals that may be indicated to help recover the hearing if treatment is started immediately. Sometimes the hearing may spontaneously recover without treatment, but it is better to leave all your options open.   

Sudden hearing loss, sudden onset of tinnitus (especially if it is only in one ear), or sudden onset of vertigo are all reasons to seek medical help immediately. Call your physician at the first signs of the above and request an immediate appointment. Let them know that Gardner Audiology is available to expediate a hearing evaluation appointment. Make sure you tell the Gardner scheduling team that this is a medical emergency, and you need an immediate appointment. Call Gardner Audiology at 1-800-277-1182 or email for more information about sudden hearing loss. 

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